New vehicles sales stronger than last year but still not back to normal
Sales in 2023 and 2022 remain below the 10-year average
By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 11 September 2023 1 min read
For the seventh month in a row, the number of new motor vehicles sold in Alberta went up compared to the same month last year, a sign of pent up demand and easing supply chains.
In July, the number of vehicles sold was 2.3% higher than the same month in 2022.* On a year-to-date (YTD) basis, sales over the first seven months of 2023 are 8.6% higher than the same period last year.
Does this mean that the supply chain issues brought on by the pandemic are behind us and new headwinds like inflation and higher borrowing costs are not weighing on sales?
Unfortunately, it does not.
Sales in July 2023 were still 15.5% lower than the 10-year average for that month.
The YTD numbers for this year and last year are also below the 10-year average (-9.5%).
And it is not just Alberta’s new vehicle sector that is not back to normal with national YTD sales in 2023 8.6% lower than the 10-year average.
Clearly, it is going to take more time for vehicle sales to recover from the disruptions of the last few years.
*Because seasonally-adjusted new vehicle sales are not available from Statistics Canada, year-over-year changes are a more reliable gauge of what is happening than the month-to-month variations.
Answer to the previous trivia question: Alberta has a larger manufacturing sector as measured by revenue than British Columbia—Alberta’s manufacturing sales in July 2023 were $8.2 billion compared to $5.2 billion in BC.
Today’s trivia question: According to Guinness World Records, how long is the world’s longest car?